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The Hand Puppet As An Educational Tool: Get More Insight in Children and Make Learning More Fun by [Helen Meurs]

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Newcomers to a group, or children who find it scary to go to an appointment with a caregiver, experience much support with a puppet. Together with the puppet the child explores the room, takes a peep everywhere, and perhaps, contacts the other children in the room. The child may adjust faster in the group. Even saying goodbye to their parents can ease the feelings of panic when the child considers the puppet as a safe little friend. Some young children find the puppet scary and do not like having it around. Be careful, as an educator, to use the puppet directly; it may be more effective to give the child the initiative.

In all other cases, the puppet welcomes and supports the child.

For example:

● Hi, I’m in this class too.

● I thought it was scary at first too, but now I like it here!

● Hold on to me tightly, I’ll stay with you until you can do it by yourself.

● Shall I show you the classroom?

● Shall I help you with the other children’s names?

● If you want to know something, just ask me. I’ll help you.



Three relations in working with a hand puppet

Just bringing the puppet to life doesn't make it an educational tool. More is needed. In addition to basic skills, there is also a basic attitude and that basic attitude is about seeing, feeling, thinking and acting in relation to the child(ren) and the hand puppet you work with. I'll explain.

When a hand puppet comes along, there is a relationship between you and the child, you and the puppet and between the child and the puppet. I won't elaborate on the relationship between you and the child here, it does play a role, but I don't want to interfere in that relationship. The only thing I can say is that it is possible that the relationship between you and the child will change positively through the use of the hand puppet. The hand puppet will enable you to get a better understanding of the world experience, thinking, feeling and acting of the child, and also of yourself.

By adding the hand puppet, a “communication triangle" will be created. The dialogue will not only take place between you and the child, but the child can also choose to focus on the puppet and exclude you. You can also add elements by starting a conversation with the puppet and letting the child be a listener.

While working with the hand puppet as an educational tool, you will become more and more aware that you can have a conversation with a child from your own role as well as from the puppet. The more experience you gain with the hand puppet, the more you can use it consciously and play with it. These experiences are not only enriching for the child, by letting the puppet open up you will also discover a lot about yourself. The puppet often reflects your own behavior, your own thinking and your own actions. I experience that as a gift because by seeing myself again, I can improve myself and that ultimately makes me a better educator. So don't be afraid of it, but embrace it as a pleasant side effect of that wonderful tool.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0BJN8CF1Q
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Wonderbaarlijke Spiegels (October 17, 2022)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 17, 2022
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 6995 KB
  • Simultaneous device usage ‏ : ‎ Unlimited
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 161 pages

About the author

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Hello, I’m Helen Meurs, the author behind The Hand Puppet As An Educational Tool. Born in the Netherlands in 1969, I’ve always found joy in teaching children and worked as an educator for many years. During that time, I came upon the idea of using a traditional hand puppet in the classroom to encourage better connection and communication with my young students. After successfully coaxing one of my quietest students out of his shell, I knew I had something special. Now, I aspire to bring the joy and functionality of hand puppets to as many professionals and parents as possible.

My love for puppets actually began many years before I became a teacher, as a young child watching Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show. I was delighted and enthralled with how he brought such life to his puppets, especially my favorites, Kermit and Miss Piggy. This fondness remained as I grew up and gave me confidence that I could elicit a similar response in my classroom. After some trial and error, it worked.

With over 25 years of experience, I work to bring this simple but impactful tool to educators, parents, and caregivers around the world. From 2004 to 2019, I was the director of the Netherlands’ most extensive hand puppet webshop and advice center, where I tested more than 1500 hand puppets and various application techniques to use in the classroom and one-on-one.

Now, I run my website, where I post blogs, videos, and helpful tips and advice for those looking to introduce the hand puppet to their teaching or parenting bag of tricks. In addition, I host a hand puppet learning academy for educators of children from 3 to 7 years old. With my academy, I can go in-depth in teaching about the use of hand puppets in challenging children in their development.

If you are interested in learning more about the process of adopting hand puppets in your classroom or day-to-day life, check out my book, The Hand Puppet As An Educational Tool, or my website at for more tips and tricks.

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